I quite like New Yorker Magazine's Peter Schjeldahl's art criticism, even as I take issue with his choice of the word nurture to describe the way women devoted themselves to the career of Alexei Jawlensky. Sacrificed may be more accurate. Of course had he used sacrificed I would have been differently predisposed. Closed, not open for discussion or thought on my part, certain, definite, already locked into a way of seeing. Nurture makes me think. Makes me consider and reconsider. Makes me want to know more, to question, to look for evidence in Jawlensky's work, for any trace of nurture. Finally, like all really good re-creative criticism, Schjeldahl re-presents the works under discussion in ways that assist me in seeing them more vividly and imaginatively.
Then he turns to what he describes as the most beautiful and bracing show in NYC at the moment. The works of Vija Celmins, who is 78 and described my Schjeldahl as an artist, "who is not only esteemed but cherished in the art world, as a paragon of aesthetic rigor, poetic sapience, and brusque, funny personal charm." About her work he says they, "evince meditative dedication." It's at times like these, when I need to jump start my practice that I marvel over the grace I experience that an article like this should cross my path. When I need to come home to myself as a woman painter of 63. One who insists on the value of recreating subtle landscape imagery on canvas wiht oils, in the face of more obviously politicized, feminized and socially critical art making practices and materials. Home to the confidence and veracity of my own practice that I am uplifted by the much needed coincidence of Schjeldahl's words and Celmins art.